Discovery of ‘suspicious device’ delayed start of Vancouver marathon: police

Runners race from the starting line during the BMO Vancouver Marathon in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday May 2, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver police say they were called to dispose of a “suspicious device” found along the route of the BMO Vancouver Marathon Sunday morning.

The discovery of the device resulted in the start of the race being delayed by about an hour.

“This is extremely concerning, and it appears the device was strategically placed along the half marathon route, where runners would be passing close by,” Sgt. Steve Addison said in a media release.

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“Whoever did this was likely aiming to cause panic or to disrupt the event.”

According to police, a marathon volunteer spotted the device near Science World just after 5 a.m. and called 911.

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Police isolated the area, before bomb technicians with the department’s emergency response team examined and destroyed the device.

The item, police said “was not at risk of exploding and did not pose an immediate danger to the public, however the race start had to be delayed while the device was rendered inert.”

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Police have not provided additional details about the nature of the device, or what rendering it inert meant.

An estimated 18,000 people are participating in Sunday’s marathon and half marathon, which begin at Queen Elizabeth Park and finish at Coal Harbour.

The race was cancelled outright in 2020, and operated as a virtual event in 2021.

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Numerous road closures are in effect Sunday in relation to the marathon. You can see a full map of closures here.

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